Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Sochi Autodrom, 2015

Mercedes’ varying form is “very strange” – Hamilton

2015 Russian Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton finds it “strange” that Mercedes are performing much better in Russia than they did in Singapore.

With the same tyre compounds being used for both weekend and Sochi also having a low-grip surface, even some people within Mercedes were concerned their Singapore problems would resurface this weekend.

“Very strange, coming into the weekend, people were making assumptions that we would have a repeat of Singapore,” said Hamilton.

“Obviously I had no idea what it’s going to be like and to think that now we have it the other way round it’s very, very strange.”

Mercedes had nine-tenths of a second in hand over their rivals today, whereas in Singapore Hamilton was one-and-a-half seconds off Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari.

“I don’t have answer for it but the car felt good otherwise on the tyres today,” said Hamilton.

The lack of dry-weather running in practice has left question marks over how the cars will performance in the grand prix, and Vettel believes Ferrari will be much closer to Mercedes.

“I don’t know how it will be for the race,” Hamilton said. “I think from our short long run, the seven laps that we might have got, we have to take information from that, but it didn’t feel bad.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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14 comments on “Mercedes’ varying form is “very strange” – Hamilton”

  1. Different track (engine is far more important in Sochi) and very different temperatures (about 10-15 degrees less warm) explains most of it I think.

    1. @bascb

      Add a much smoother surface (far less bumps) to it as well.

      1. good point @crammond, that certianly is an important difference too

    2. Even more boring than Korea. I’d call it amazing. Instead I’ll call it Tilke.

  2. Throw more sand at me. The only thing both tracks have in common is that realistically they are situated in Asia.

    1. I never understood why people say this track is similar to Singapore.
      Engine performance is far more important here than in Singapore, the surface is very very flat (no bumps at all) plus it’s a lot less abrasive.

      Regarding the location of the track, it depends on the definition of Europe and Asia, because it is basically one continent.
      If you draw the virtual border-line at the caucasus mountains, as most people are, the region of Soči is on the edge of the european border.
      As a geoprapher I’d say the city of Soči is part of Europe, because of its cultural and historical background.

      1. @srga91 You are right on the european thing. I was just hammering #44.

  3. Oh Lewis, please dont feed the truthers …

  4. Sigh. People talk as if 2015 is the first time Mercedes raced in Singapore. The track is the same. The conditions are the same. And the car/ tires are essentially the same.
    But we want to believe that Mercedes went down a “setup dead end” as they claimed, and were 2secs of the pace of their nearest rivals (which they have handily beaten throughout the seasonr; with the exception of another dubious race in Malaysia).

    The Merc engine is still the best; irrespective of track layout or characteristics.. More so, they have no issue getting ANY of the tires to work; in any temperature . Again, only Malaysia springs to mind; and they served Ferrari a drubbing at the next race. Exactly the same as in Suzuka. Anyone who really believes all this poppycock is living in an alternate reality.

    There is indeed “conspiracy theory”. There is only the truth. And the indications point to Mercedes being nobbled (with their consent, alongside Ferrari, the FIA and Pirelli) in order to “spice” up the show. In the history of F1, it has never happened for a dominant car to be 2 secs of the pace one race, and gain it back the other. Yes, dominants cars have been beaten, but not by such margins.

    “Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.”

    1. “…More so, they have no issue getting ANY of the tires to work…”

      Yep. And even when there’s not enough track time to find an ideal set up — very like this weekend — they’re able to find speed.

    2. @kbdavies I’m relieved you quote a famous work of fiction. For a minute there I thought you were being serious!

  5. They probably messed up real bad on their set up that weekend.
    Watching his onboards i never saw a suspension working that much on a modern car.

  6. Aye singapore was a real mess, and poor setup can take a lot of laptime. Especially on street circuit if a car cannot ride bumps and kerbs… Then you overcompensate and it ruins your Aero.

    There was also talk of their max downforce package proving to much for tire sidewalls.

    Conspiracy theories abound… And in Soči… They are not that far ahead on similar tarmac and tires. So perhaps they are poor at these surfaces. But setup here does not ruin Aero+they are same distance to williams as Singapore. But power unit gives them enough advantage on a power track, hence RBR is nowhere and Ferrari behind Williams.

  7. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    11th October 2015, 1:18

    Don’t know why he’d be surprised. He said as much himself that Singapore and Sochi are two very different tracks with vastly different conditions.

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